Rare mutation in FAAH-OUT dampens the pain and anxiety response

//Rare mutation in FAAH-OUT dampens the pain and anxiety response

Rare mutation in FAAH-OUT dampens the pain and anxiety response

What if you didn’t experience physical pain?  This is an attractive idea, but of course pain is necessary to alert you to hazardous situations.  What if you didn’t experience anxiety?  Again, this is an attractive idea, but anxiety alerts us to potentially dangerous situations so corrective action can be taken.  From the perspective of evolution, it is easy to see why mutations in genes that dampened the pain and anxiety responses were not favorable – individuals that didn’t experience pain or anxiety would have been at a survival disadvantage and therefore their genes would not be passed on to the next generation.  Here is a story of a woman who experiences no pain and little anxiety, and researchers have traced this condition to a mutation in a single gene – FAAH-OUT.  Oddly, the mutation may also explain why this woman is forgetful and does not generate lasting scar tissue. Imagine the power of a drug that mimicked this strange mutation – it could be used as a non-opiod painkiller, an anti-anxiety drug and it could also help heal physical scars.  Importantly, the effects of such a drug would be transient.  However, one can also envision several side effects.

By |2019-04-10T20:36:45+00:00March 29th, 2019|Biomedical News|Comments Off on Rare mutation in FAAH-OUT dampens the pain and anxiety response

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